• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain the ethical responses to abortion

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Transfer-Encoding: chunked ´╗┐Explain the ethical responses to abortion I will be explain how a balance of absolutist and relativist ethical theories would respond to abortion. Relativist theories such as Utilitarianism and situation ethics allow abortion in some circumstances. Whereas Kantian ethics and Natural Law are absolute and say abortion is wrong in any circumstance. Bentham?s Act Utilitarianism is teleological and would look at how much pleasure would result from a woman having an abortion. Bentham would measure the pleasure with his Hedonic Calculus. If the pleasure outweighs the pain, then an abortion would be acceptable. For Mill, individual sovereign was important, meaning a person has the right over their own body. He was a weak Rule Utilitarianism. ...read more.

Middle

In some situations Fletcher may say that although murder is wrong, sometimes we must look past laws in order to do what is right. Therefore in some situations we need abortion because it can be the most loving thing to do. For example, it is loving to offer an abortion to a rape victim. Kantian ethics is deontological and absolute. Firstly Kant would ask whether the maxim of abortion can be universal. The universal law ?everybody should have an abortion? is contradictory because the human race would not exist if this existed. However if we universalise ?everyone who has been raped should have an abortion? it does not contradict itself. Nevertheless, it is a contradiction of the will because the maker of the maxim may have been conceived through rape themselves. ...read more.

Conclusion

The absolute secondary precept of this is that abortion is wrong. In an ectopic pregnancy where the foetus grows in the woman?s fallopian tube, if the pregnancy is carried on both the mother and foetus will die. In this situation, a follower of Natural law would still say abortion is wrong, even though it would save the mother?s life and ensure she could conceive in the future. However, removing the ovary with the side effect of killing the foetus but saving the mother would not be considered wrong. This is called the doctrine of double effect, the act itself is not evil but there is an unintended side effect. In conclusion, Natural law and Kantian ethics condemn abortion. It cannot be universalised and it goes against the primary precept of preserving life. Whereas Utilitarianism and Situation ethics allows abortion where is would bring around pleasure and if it is the most loving thing to do. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Practical Questions section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Practical Questions essays

  1. Utilitarianism VS Kantian Deontological Ethics

    This is summarised in Kant's quote: "There is only one good thing and that is a good will" Kant also proposed a 'categorical imperative' which asserted whether a moral action is good or bad. Kant defined an imperative as any proposition that declares a certain kind of action (or inaction)

  2. The Ethical Debate Concerning Cloning.

    Once it is agreed that human cloning is permissible, there will be no turning back. Perhaps the fear and sense of revulsion that cloning inspires in many people will allow us to keep science in check 6. What Judgment Should Be Made on Other Procedures of Manipulating Embryos Connected with the "Techniques of Human Reproduction"?

  1. Discussion of abortion

    'Thou shall not kill.' (Exodus 20:13) These teachings are designed to influence a Roman catholic when discussing abortion and because we believe in the Sacred Writings, we believe that what it says is the truth. Another area of teaching a Catholic might use while discussing abortion is Church Documents.

  2. is abortion justified to save the mother's life

    firstly she has a poor mental health and is incapable of caring for herself let alone another being. And secondly if the woman has been forced to conceive the baby she is carrying, against her will, ie. Rape. I believe that in these circumstances the majority of people would agree

  1. The founder of situation ethics, Joseph Fletcher felt that the individual should be of ...

    Situation ethics is favourable because of its features - its flexible and practical and allows pragmatic decisions to be made when needed to be. Situation Ethics is can able to make tough decisions, where a legalistic perspective : all actions appear to be wrong.

  2. Is Christ a Kantian?

    If I have just one dollar, should I buy my favorite book or donate the money away? Which is right, and how could I know for sure? Should I throw a coin to decide? (The usual answer to this question is, you need only to do the right some of the time.

  1. How are religious and ethical principles used in the abortion debate?

    However, in exceptional circumstances, the situation might demand a different, loving response. Abortion would be an exception in extreme circumstances, as opposed to a method of birth control. For instance, in the case from 2009 of a 9 year old Brazilian girl who was raped and subsequently fell pregnant with

  2. Abortion and Personhood. Explain how the concept of personhood applies to abortion.

    Secondly, does the ?person? have a form of consciousness that enables them to feel pain or pleasure? This principle is by all means wide enough to include newborn babies, well-developed fetuses and severely handicapped adults.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work